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India and Azerbaijan to cooperate in oil and gas sectors

New Delhi, April 16, IRNA - India and Azerbaijan have agreed to cooperate in several areas including oil and gas sectors and Indian companies are set to play a greater role in the development of Azerbaijan's rapidly expanding oil and gas industry.

This was the result of a meeting last week between the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the visiting Indian Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh at Baku, said an official release issued here Sunday.

At the end of a 45-minute discussion, Aliyev consented to ONGC Videsh and SOCAR, the state-owned oil and gas exploration company of Azerbaijan, starting talks for cooperation for ONGC Videsh's investments in hydrocarbon-rich Azerbaijan.

ONGC Videsh has already invested close to five billion dollars in 15 countries around the world, half of which is in Russia alone and that ONGC Videsh has much to offer to Azerbaijan, particularly in fields where production is declining.

Ramesh also offered India's assistance in tapping the high wind energy potential in Azerbaijan.

The minister informed the Azerbaijan president that Indian companies like Vestas and Suzlon have become globally prominent and already about 4500 MW of wind energy capacity has been established in India.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan has agreed to open technical talks with Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) for enabling the Indian company to start exploration activity in natural gas in the gas-rich Central Asian country.

This materialized after meetings between the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Savkit Mirziyayev and the visiting Indian Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh on April 13, 2007 at Tashkent.

India has also offered to help establish a training institute for gas technology in Tashkent, along the lines of the Jawaharlal Nehru IT Center in the Uzbek capital that was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh last year.

GAIL has identified four specific blocks for gas exploration. So far Russia, China and South Korea have invested in gas exploration in Uzbekistan.

... Payvand News - 4/17/07 ... --

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